For example, NBC pulled the plug on their Americanization of the British TV hit, Coupling, which aired on the Peacock Network Thursday nights at 9:30. What NBC refuses to admit, is while the three times this program aired, Pollstar.com experienced a 97 percent spike in usage, with most of that increase attributed to the then-new listings for Sarah Brightman and Bette Midler. A coincidence? Perhaps not.
Furthermore, other new shows, such as Lyon’s Den (also on NBC), as well as Skin (Fox) and The Brotherhood of Poland, NH (CBS), were all cancelled when potential viewers evidently decided to turn off the boob-tube and log onto Pollstar.com for artist schedules like Dillinger Escape Plan, Zilla and J.D. Crowe & The New South. As you can see, a pattern is definitely emerging.
It’s no secret that Pollstar.com has been television’s biggest competitor. After all, when you consider some of the new shows to debut this fall – Tarzan and The Mulletts, as well as the celeb-based, reality show, Who Want’s To Date O.J. Simpson? – is it any wonder viewers are choosing tour dates over inane plot lines, yesterday’s hair fashions and excessive blood and gore? Especially when those tour dates include new listings for Pete Francis as well as updates for Addison Groove Project and David Benoit. It doesn’t take a rocket science to figure out that there is definitely something going on here.
But what? Could the timing of posting new schedules for artists such as Melbourne or Pete Francis affect the potential viewership of television programs? Furthermore, how will today’s new tours, such as Alabama, Dropkick Murphys and Arab Strap, influence the viewer demographics for tonight’s shows such as The Guardian, I’m With Her and that Jessica Simpson / Charlie Tuna concert special? Is there a correlation between the size of the TV audience and what appears on this Web site?
Millions of Pollstar.com users seem to think so. They write to us daily, accusing this Web site of purposely slotting new tour itineraries up against all the new programs that the networks have to offer. They claim that past shows that were deep-sixed from the airwaves, such as Birds of Prey, Family Affair and Courtney Love M.D., didn’t have a snowball’s chance to attract viewers when competing with the new schedule for Old Blind Dogs or Dream Theater’s tour of Japan. In other words, they blame this Web site for every cancelled TV show since the year 2000. Furthermore, they demand an answer. And you know what? We think they deserve a response.
Unfortunately, we just don’t have the time to answer all those “thank you” letters.